Friday, May 17, 2019

Pin Oak Energy Scoops Up Utica Shale Assets in Deal with Protege Energy

From a press release:
Pin Oak Energy (Pin Oak) has acquired from Protege Energy III LLC the Caywood A 1H Utica well located in Washington County Ohio along with nearly 10,000 net acres in Washington and Noble Counties Ohio and Wood County, West Virginia. In addition to the producing Utica well, Pin Oak acquired the Big Red pad location, 60 square miles of proprietary 3D Seismic, largely undedicated acreage position and a 4-mile gathering line connecting into Blue Racer Midstream’s Washington County Connector line.
Marcellus Drilling News reports that Pin Oak is quickly moving on plans to develop its new assets:
It didn’t take long for Pin Oak to form their first drilling unit in Washington County, called Big Red. We have the details on where it is, and which properties are included.

Thanks to an MDN tipster, we have a copy of a pooling notice filed by Pin Oak on May 1. Pin Oak is pooling the land owned by 21 different landowners in Liberty Township (Washington County) to form a 465-acre unit they call the Big Red Unit. Below is the pooling notice. At the end of the notice you’ll find a list of the landowners and how much of their property will be included in the pool, along with a map of the unit.
To view the copy of the pooling notice, click here (subscription required).

Construction Finally Starting on $1.3 Billion Columbiana County Power Plant

From Business Journal Daily:
Representatives from South Field Energy Partners will be on hand this afternoon to break ground for a $1.3 billion combined-cycle energy plant that is likely to employ more than 1,100 tradesmen during the peak construction phase. 
The new plant, scheduled for commercial operation by mid-2021, would be fueled by natural gas and steam. It would be capable of generating 1,182 megawatts of power to the PJM grid, enough power to supply 1 million homes. 
Meanwhile, South Field’s parent, Advanced Power, announced Tuesday that it has sold a 15% membership interest to JXTG, a major oil and energy company based in Japan.

Thomas Spang, Advanced Power CEO, said the investment underscores the wide support the project has received in the private sector.
Read the whole article by clicking here. 

Energy Transfer to Donate $450,000 to PA Special Olympics

From a Special Olympics Pennsylvania press release:
Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) today announced a three-year partnership that will recognize Energy Transfer as its Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Guardians of the Flame Premier Sponsor. LETR, the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics, is changing the future for people with intellectual disabilities and lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion. 
Energy Transfer will donate a total of $450,000 over a three-year period to further SOPA's mission to broaden the opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Energy Transfer is one of the largest and most diversified midstream energy companies in the country with more than 86,000 miles of oil, natural gas and refined fuels pipelines traversing 38 states. Both organizations share a similar focus on working to improve the quality of life and well-being for the community. 
Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and SOPA athletes carry the "Flame of Hope" into the Opening Ceremonies of local and state Games. The flame symbolizes courage and the celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe. In 2018, more than $1.3 million was raised to support nearly 20,000 SOPA athletes via a multitude of LETR events and activities around the state that included Torch Runs, annual Polar Plunges, the Beaver Stadium Run and more. In Pennsylvania, there are more than 500 members of law enforcement and emergency responders engaged in LETR efforts.
Click here to continue reading. 

OOGEEP: Wide Range of Career Opportunities Available in Ohio's Oil and Gas Industry

From an OOGEEP press release:
As we celebrate "In-Demand Jobs Week" in Ohio, the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) wants Ohio students and job-seekers to know that there are more than 75 different rewarding and high-demand careers available in Ohio's natural gas and oil industry. In-demand jobs are defined as jobs that have a sustainable wage and a promising future based on the projected number of openings and growth. 
"In 2011, our industry employed around 14,000 Ohioans, and today that number has dramatically increased to nearly 200,000, thanks to the ongoing development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations," Rhonda Reda, OOGEEP Executive Director said. "As a result, workforce development remains a priority for our industry." 
OOGEEP recently released a new Career Guide and an online Career Video Series that highlights the in-demand careers in Ohio's natural gas and oil industry including diesel mechanics, welders, lease operators, land surveyors, CDL truck drivers, derrickhands, geologists, petroleum engineers and many more.
Click here to read more. 

2020 Dems Take Extreme Positions on Oil & Gas Development

by Jack Anderson, Energy in Depth

With the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination getting more crowded every week, gaining the financial favor of deep-pocketed fringe activists could make a difference for candidates hoping to escape the first round of Democratic tryouts.
It’s no secret that Big Green has plenty of greenbacks to go around this election cycle, and Democratic hopefuls have been openly competing for those dollars. But for many, simply pledging to uphold the Paris climate accords isn’t enough to draw the support of well-endowed environmental activists, leading several candidates in the field to take extreme “keep-it-in-the-ground” (KIITG) stances on federal energy policy, ignoring key facts about oil and natural gas development on federal lands and its environmental benefits.
As of last week, nine Democratic hopefuls have pledged to enact a moratorium on new oil and natural gas development on federal lands if elected president, or at least restrict development in certain states, according to E&E News. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former HUD Secretary Juli├ín Castro have all committed to KIITG drilling moratoriums. California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker also cosponsored legislation that would codify Obama-era restrictions on Alaska’s oil and gas industry.
While these candidates may perceive embracing KIITG messaging as a good short-term political move, such a stance betrays a shortsighted misunderstanding of the importance of oil and gas production on federal lands.
Emissions are falling as production rises.
Halting all new federal leases for oil and natural gas development would only cut U.S. emissions by 4-5 percent by 2030, according to a study by the Stockholm Environment Institute. But even that estimate seems on the high side; total emissions from production on federal lands fell from 2004-2015, according to a 2018 report by the U.S. Geological Survey, while production on those lands increased dramatically.
Natural gas in particular has played a leading role in reducing U.S. emissions. From 2005 to 2017, the fuel was responsible for 50 percent more reductions in emissions from power generation than solar and wind combined, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the same period, production of natural gas rose 51 percent across the country, and America’s GDP rose 48 percent.
More revenue is coming from less land.
The economic benefits of federal oil and gas leases are tremendous for local economies surrounding these developments. For example, New Mexico’s state and local governments absorbed over 20 percent of all revenue generated by oil and gas development across the state in 2017, through taxes and royalties; in 2018, New Mexico’s state government alone collected an estimated $3 billion in royalties and taxes, giving the government a $1 billion budget surplus for the first time in its history.
More western states have seen exceptional economic benefits from development on public lands. Wyoming, for example, took in $902.6 million from oil and gas in 2017. Montana also enjoys nearly $250 million in annual state revenues and nearly 30,000 jobs created by the oil and gas industry. Colorado’s oil and gas industry supports 161,000 jobs – with an average salary of over $100,000 – and contributed nearly $500 million to government revenues in 2016.
These tremendous economic benefits have all been made possible in part by federal oil and gas leasing. Yet less than 10 percent of federal lands in the western U.S. are actually leased for oil and gas development. And the number of new acres leased has fallen off since 2012.
Just this small proportion of federal lands being made available for oil and gas development has had a profoundly beneficial impact on the American economy, which should be a priority for presidential candidates. Limiting production on federal lands would threaten the country’s current trajectory to become a net energy exporter by 2020.
Candidates embracing economically impractical and environmentally unhelpful KIITG policy positions are ignoring the economic growth, environmental benefits and geopolitical stability made possible by increased oil and natural gas production. We can export U.S. oil and gas resources to global markets, cutting into the market share of less environmentally friendly regimes like Russia, Iran and Venezuela Candidates who choose to embrace America’s newfound leadership position in global energy can work hand-in-hand with local communities to preserve and enhance the benefits of American oil and natural gas.

Permitting Remains Slow, Rig Count Holds at 17 in Utica Shale

WEEK ENDING 05/11/2019

New permits issued last week: 3 (Previous week: 4)  -1
Total horizontal permits issued: 3079 (Previous week: 3076 +3
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2600 (Previous week: 2584)  +16
Total horizontal wells producing: 2185 (Previous week: 2179)  +6
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 17)  +-0

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Rumor Central: Belmont County Cracker Plant Decision Could Be Coming in September, Project May Be Sold to New Company

Jim Willis of Marcellus Drilling News reported last week a rumor that was passed along to him by a trusted source regarding the cracker plant that has been in the planning stages for Belmont County for some time now.

Here is a small portion of what Jim reported:
Then our source added this, about the timing of an FID announcement:
PTT is saying that it likely will be September when an FID is announced. 
Finally, our source dropped a bombshell–that PTT may end up having to sell the project:
Multiple players are saying that PTT and Daelim are having enough trouble with the financing (causing the September timing) that they will be forced to sell the project to a bigger player. Two super majors are sniffing around, and there is some indication that a couple other major US and European players are sniffing too.
You can read the whole report, which has quite a bit more information on this, by clicking here (subscription required).

Jefferson County Becoming Key Location in Utica Shale Drilling

From WTOV 9:

An event was held by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce to give the community an update on progress being made in the oil and gas industry.

Several topics were up for discussion, including pipeline investment projects, natural gas powerplants and more. 
Representatives with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, Encino Energy and Ascent Resources were all in attendance. 
Jefferson County, in particular, is a growing area when it comes to Utica Shale. Based on Monday’s presentation, they only see more progress being made.
Click here to view this article in its entirety on WTOV's website.

New Nature Study Affirms the Climate Benefits of Increased Natural Gas Use

by John Glennon, Energy in Depth

The increased use of natural gas in electricity generation contributes to long-term “climate stabilization objectives,” according to a new study published in Nature. Notably, the study’s top line finding should address concerns that natural gas is less effective at reducing emissions than initially anticipated:
“We found that the coal-to-gas shift is consistent with climate stabilization objectives for the next 50-100 years. Our finding is robust under a range of leakage rates and uncertainties in emissions data and metrics. It becomes conditional to the leakage rate in some locations only if we employ a set of metrics that essentially focus on short-term effects. Our case for the coal-to-gas shift is stronger than previously found…”
The study is unique in that it is the first to employ a “multimetric approach” to analyze the impact which takes into account “short-term (a few decades) and long-term (about a century) climate impacts.”
Methane emissions intensity is declining in the top U.S. oil and gas basins.
The study comes at a time when the U.S. oil and gas industry is making significant strides in reducing methane emissions leakage rates, a fact that was noted in the study:
“A recent synthesis study gave a leakage estimate of 2.3% for the United States…CH4 measurements and inventory data are concentrated in the United States, leaving the leakage estimates in the other parts of the world more uncertain. Leakage rates outside of the United States could be high due to fewer regulatory oversights on environmental issues, among other factors.”
recent EID analysis found that in the Permian and Appalachian basins methane emissions intensity – emissions per unit of production – decreased by 57 percent and 82 percent, respectively, from 2011 to 2017.
The increased use of natural is improving air quality.
In addition to climate impacts the study notes that increased use of natural gas to meet energy demand also could lower emissions of other air pollutants and improve air quality:
“…air quality can be evaluated together with climate impacts, which could probably strengthen the case…”
This trend is already occurring, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 “Our Nation’s Air” report that found air pollution declined 73 percent from 1970 to 2017 at the same time America’s gross domestic product  increased 262 percent. Most notably, the EPA data showed that emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter  — widely viewed as the most harmful air pollutants — have collectively declined 55 percent since 2005.
The findings of the Nature study also align with the latest EPA data released this month which show that greenhouse gas emissions in the United States fell 12 percent from 2005 to 2017 while natural gas production increased 51 percent:
The Nature study provides yet another proof point that the United States is leading the world in carbon emissions reductions thanks in large part to our embrace of natural gas. As natural gas continues to be an increasingly important energy source to meet the demand for electricity, there could also be more long-term climate benefits to come. As Independent Petroleum Association of America’s Executive Vice President Lee Fuller stated:
“America’s oil and natural gas producers are working hard to develop America’s own abundant resources in a safe and environmentally sound manner. The federal government’s own data confirms methane emissions have fallen in recent years and are continuing to drop, even as oil and natural gas production has risen. As technology has improved, the industry’s processes have become more efficient. Responsible energy development has and will continue to play a leading role in making the United States the world leader in greenhouse gas reductions.”

Infighting and Upheaval Seem to be Ruling the Day at EQT

EQT's merger with Rice Energy in 2017 made the company the largest natural gas producer in the United States.

Given recent events, some at EQT might be questioning if bigger is always better.

Starting several months ago, the Rice brothers mounted a challenge to EQT's leadership.  The fight has remained ongoing, and all seems to be leading up to a major showdown in July. 

In the latest developments, the Rices filed a lawsuit against EQT regarding the company's handling of the proxy bidding process for board nominations.

Now that lawsuit has been dropped after EQT made some adjustments to resolve the issues that the Rice brothers had with the process.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
EQT Corp. and the former leadership of Rice Energy Inc. are continuing their feud even as a lawsuit filed by Toby Rice against the Downtown-based company has been dropped. 
EQT is fighting off an animated proxy challenge from Mr. Rice, his brother Derek Rice and a group of former executives from Rice Energy, which was bought by EQT for $6.7 billion in November 2017. 
The Rice team claims that EQT has mismanaged the company’s assets over the past year and a half and hasn’t delivered the results it should have after the companies combined. Mr. Rice is aiming to replace EQT’s CEO Rob McNally and to win enough votes to install nine new board members. 
The latest spat between the two camps manifested two weeks ago when EQT announced its improved first quarter earnings and Toby Rice filed a lawsuit against the company alleging that EQT was trying to bias the proxy vote through tricky legal language in its board nomination process.
That same article later goes on:
The proxy fight looks like it’s headed straight for EQT’s annual shareholder meeting, scheduled for July 10.
 Read the whole article by clicking here.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports that the company is also losing its executive vice president of production, after she had only been in the job since October:
The executive in charge of EQT’s natural gas production will be leaving her post early next month after a little over six months in the job. 
Erin Centofanti, who became executive vice president of production Oct. 25, 2018, gave her two-week notice Thursday. EQT (NYSE: EQT) confirmed her plans to depart. 
“Erin has decided to move on to the next phase in her career, and her last day with us will be May 3,” an EQT spokeswoman told the Business Times. Her next move was not disclosed. 
Centofanti, 42, is a 15-year veteran of EQT, having joined in 2004 as a reservoir engineer. She was SVP of asset development at EQT Production, and was promoted in a corporate shakeup that led to the departure of EQT’s previous EVP of production, David Schlosser.
In the midst of all this, EQT did report positive numbers for the 1st quarter of the year.  That's done little to stop all of the upheaval, but for the moment the current braintrust leading the company has given shareholders who may have been leaning towards the huge changes proposed by the Rices some reason to reconsider.

Monday, May 6, 2019

May 2019 Shale Activity Maps

Rig Count Bounces Back in Utica Shale

WEEK ENDING 04/27/2019

New permits issued last week: 10 (Previous week: 6)  +4
Total horizontal permits issued: 3071 (Previous week: 3062 +9
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2581 (Previous week: 2574)  +7
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2179)  +-0
Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 14)  +3

WEEK ENDING 05/04/2019

New permits issued last week: 4 (Previous week: 10)  -6
Total horizontal permits issued: 3076 (Previous week: 3071 +5
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2584 (Previous week: 2581)  +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2179)  +-0

Utica rig count: 17 (Previous week: 17)  +-0

Friday, April 26, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Promises War on Fossil Fuel Extraction if Elected

From the Washington Examiner:
The United States needs more oil and natural gas production on federal land and in coastal waters.

Consider the enormous demand for energy. The Energy Information Administration expects demand will increase 6.3% through 2050. Wind and solar energy are projected to meet an increasing share of energy demand, but hydrocarbons are still expected to provide 79% of America’s energy needs in 2050. 
The argument for oil and gas production, however, is not just about meeting the increasing need for energy. It has been an engine for job creation and economic growth, and it has improved the lives of millions of people. 
But the politics of energy production are driven, to this day, by the proposition that fossil fuels pollute the environment and depress the use of renewables competing with oil and gas. It is a myopic view, reflected in the keep-it-in-the-ground movement that wants to shut down oil and gas production. 
It underpins presidential aspirant Elizabeth Warren’s threat to ban all fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and in coastal waters. She pledged recently that if elected she would sign an executive order on her first day in office for a “total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases.”
Read more of this article by clicking here. 

Oil and Gas Workers Among the Best Paid in America

by Nicole Jacobs, Energy in Depth

Thanks to America’s energy renaissance, the energy and utility sector has the highest median salary of any industry in the S&P 500, with the typical worker at one energy company earning almost $200,000 annually, according to the Wall Street Journal.
An analysis of annual pay disclosures by the Journal found that Phillips 66, Anadarko Petroleum Corp, and ExxonMobil topped the list of oil and gas companies, paying their median workers $196,407, $183,445, and $171,375 respectively.
For comparison, the median wage for an American with an advanced degree is $77,324, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median pay in the energy and utility sector hit $117,000, the Journal reported.
Higher wages are a result of booming American energy production.
The analysis attributed high wages to a tight labor market driven in part by the shale revolution. Between 2017-2018, U.S. oil production increased by 17 percent, while the two top-paying oil and gas companies boosted their median salary by 15 percent.
The Energy Information Administration predicts the United States will increase production by an additional 13 percent in 2019, indicating no end in sight for American production potential. Earlier this year, the Permian Basin surpassed Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar to become the most productive oilfield in the world.
The energy industry is fueling job growth.
 The energy sector isn’t just boosting salaries, it’s also employing more Americans. The energy industry leads all sectors in creating and supporting high-quality jobs, according to the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report. The industry added 152,000 new jobs in 2018, representing 7 percent of all job creation in the United States.
That report, commissioned by the Energy Futures Initiative and the National Association of State Energy Officials, also revealed that the fuels sector, which includes oil and natural gas exploration and extraction, employed 1,127,600 workers in 2018, an increase of 4.8 percent from the previous year.
As the report notes:
“[O]il and gas production added the most new jobs in the traditional energy sectors as efficiencies and increased prices brought thousands of workers back into the oil and gas fields of Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Employment in oil and gas extraction and support services is at its highest level since its recent high in the fall of 2014.”
The energy sector is becoming more diverse.
As wages rise, the industry is also becoming more diverse. Women are increasingly joining the energy industry, and in more senior and highly technical roles, according to a recent report from Oil & Gas IQ:
“[D]espite the global concern around the lack of female representation in energy, the status quo is finally being challenged. More women are claiming to work in a technical role than ever before, contrary to popular belief. There is also better representation of females in management, as well as a strong count in the younger age groups…”
The Wall Street Journal analysis adds to a growing body of evidence of the very real impact the American energy renaissance is having for oil and natural gas workers across the country. As U.S. production continues to soar, American energy companies are thriving, boosting our economy, and providing high-quality jobs for more Americans.

Hundreds Turn Out for Ohio Valley Regional Oil and Gas Expo

From WTOV 9:
The Ohio Valley Regional Oil and Gas Expo may have wrapped up, but the opportunities are endless.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Carnes Center to learn more about the oil and gas field industry reps say Belmont County still leads.

"Belmont County is still No. 1 in activity,” said Mike Chadsey with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. They are seeing a lot of really good wells, really smart wells being drilled and a lot of gas being produced."
Click here to view the original article as well as a video news report. 

Latest JobsOhio Report: $74 Billion Invested in Ohio Since 2011 Due to Shale

From the Times Reporter:
Investment in the energy-rich shale sector in eastern Ohio continues to grow, reaching $74 billion since 2011, according to a report commissioned by JobsOhio. 
The quarterly report, done by Cleveland State University’s Energy Policy Center at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, shows that about two-thirds of that investment has been in drilling, land acquisition, building roads and other expenses tied to the “upstream” portion of oil and gas production. 
The rest has been spent on activities such as collecting and gathering the oil and gas along with transmission lines and investments in natural-gas power plants and other uses. 
“The landscape for American energy looks vastly different now than it did just five or 10 years ago, and that is largely due to the resources being unlocked in the Ohio Valley,” said Matt Cybulski, director of energy and chemicals at JobsOhio, in a statement. 
The study represents investment through the first half of 2018. It comes just weeks after researchers at IHS Markit released estimates that show by 2040, the Utica and Marcellus shale regions in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania will supply 45% of U.S. natural gas production. That’s up from 31% this year.
Click here to read more. 

Energy Transfer's Sloppy Record Draws Rebuke from PA Legislator

From Stateimpact Pennsylvania:
Few legislators are more supportive of Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry than state Sen. Gene Yaw (Bradford), who serves as the Republican chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. 
However, when he addressed oil and gas industry representatives Wednesday at the Upstream PA Conference in State College, Yaw called out Energy Transfer for being irresponsible. It’s the company behind the embattled Mariner East project– a set of export pipelines moving natural gas liquids through the southern part of the state. 
“This particular company, in my opinion, rode roughshod over people,” Yaw said in his remarks. “They haven’t explained what’s gone on. They haven’t addressed issues.” 
The Mariner East project has resulted in dozens of violations for spills of drilling mud, which has contaminated private well water. Last year, state utility regulators temporarily shut down one of the pipelines, after sinkholes opened up in a Chester County neighborhood. Energy Transfer is now under criminal investigation by the attorneys general of Chester and Delaware counties, as well as State Attorney General Josh Shapiro. 
Yaw said Energy Transfer is damaging the reputations of more responsible pipeline operators, citing Williams, which recently completed the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, an expansion of its natural gas transmission line system.
The story of Energy Transfer racking up spills and violations is a familiar one to Ohio residents, as the company had many of the same issues while constructing the Rover pipeline, including spills, disputes over property restoration, and the demolition of a historic building.  You know their issues have gotten bad when it's enough to draw "friendly fire" from a drilling-friendly legislator like Yaw.  Read the rest of the article by clicking here. 

Pin Oak Energy Acquires 43,000 Utica Shale Acres in PA

From Business Journal Daily:
Pin Oak Energy Partners, which last year acquired 64,000 acres of leasehold rights in the northern trend of the Utica shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania, has expanded its footprint. 
Pin Oak said in a statement that it has closed a deal with SWEPI LP, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, for approximately 43,000 Utica acres in Mercer, Crawford, and Venango counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. The acquisition expands the company’s leaseholds to 60,000 acres in Mercer County, 5,500 acres in Crawford County and 7,100 acres in Venango County. 
The deal increases Pin Oak’s position to 167,000 net deep acres across the entire Utica, with 99% of those acres held by production.

“This transaction further bolsters the company’s deep Utica rights in the oil and wet gas window of the play,” said Mark Van Tyne, Pin Oak’s chief business development officer, in a statement. “The fact that the majority of the acreage is held by production affords us time to more thoroughly evaluate the region as we high grade locations for economic development.”
Read more by clicking right here. 

Ohio Lawmakers Proposing Massive Bailout of Nuclear Plants

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"Investment is more likely to happen if Ohio has a comprehensive energy policy that creates an equal playing field for all energy sources," said Bill Stanley of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. 
The surcharge would add $2.50 to monthly residential bills while commercial customers and businesses would pay more. Industrial users, for example, would see a $250 per month increase. 
About half of the money from the surcharge would go to the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo and the Perry plant near Cleveland that produce 14 percent of the state's electricity. The rest would go to expanding Ohio's clean energy sector. 
Both plants are slated to close by 2021 unless their operator, FirstEnergy Solutions, can find a buyer or the government eases the cost of operating them. 
The plants — like many of the nation's aging nuclear reactors — are expensive to operate and maintain and struggle to compete with cheaper natural gas plants and renewable energy.
Read on by clicking here. 

Utica Rig Count Down Two on Latest Report

New permits issued last week: 6 (Previous week: 13)  -7
Total horizontal permits issued: 3062 (Previous week: 3059 +3
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2574 (Previous week: 2571)  +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2179)  +-0
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 16)  -2

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Permitting Up, Rig Count Consistent in Utica Shale Last Week

New permits issued last week: 13 (Previous week: 8)  +5
Total horizontal permits issued: 3059 (Previous week: 3046 +13
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2571 (Previous week: 2568)  +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2179)  +-0
Utica rig count: 16 (Previous week: 16)  +-0

Progress Slowly Continues Towards Construction of Belmont County Cracker Plant

From NGI:
PTT Global Chemical pcl (PTTGC) and Daelim Industrial Co. continue to work towards sanctioning the multi-billion dollar ethane cracker proposed for Southeast Ohio, a project spokesman said this week.

A final investment decision (FID) has been in the offing since 2015, when PTTGC committed $ 100 million for preliminary design work on the facility and initially expected to have a decision by 2017. The timeline was later pushed back to 2018 and passed. decision is imminent, pieces continue to fall into place that suggest the plant will ultimately get built, sources said.

Project spokesman Dan Williamson said PTTGC is currently focused on selecting an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm to build the massive facility. The recently contracted with a local business to remove trees from the proposed site. major regulatory approvals, having secured its air permit late last year from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Click here to read more (subscription required).

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Permitting Picks Back Up a Bit in the Utica Shale

New permits issued last week: 8 (Previous week: 0)  +8
Total horizontal permits issued: 3046 (Previous week: 3042 +4
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2568 (Previous week: 2559)  +9
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2167)  +12
Utica rig count: 16 (Previous week: 16)  +-0

Division of Oil and Gas Resources Chief Predicts Utica Drilling Consistency

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Oil and gas companies have drilled more than 2,500 horizontal shale wells in Ohio, causing the state’s oil and natural gas production to surge. 
Drillers came to Ohio planning to explore the Utica and Marcellus shales beneath the eastern half of the state, but most horizontal drilling — sometimes called fracking — has concentrated in the Utica Shale deposits in counties near the Ohio River. 
In the early days of shale drilling, the average well was 6,000 feet deep and 4,000 feet long. Now, the average well is being drilled 8,500 to 10,000 feet deep and 12,000 feet long; some wells are as long as 20,000 feet, Simmers said. 
Last year, 358 new horizontal shale wells were drilled, according to the Division of Oil and Gas, which is part of the Department of Natural Resources. 
“These numbers, we project, are going to be pretty consistent for the next two years,” Simmers said.
Read on by clicking here. 

BlackGold Closes Royalty Investment in the Utica Shale

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BlackGold Capital Management LP (“BlackGold”), a private credit investment firm focused on the energy industry, today announced the acquisition of a portfolio of Overriding Royalty Interests (ORRI) in the Utica shale of Ohio. The acquisition was completed in conjunction with co-investors.

The ORRI will provide investors a portion of the revenue from natural gas production. BlackGold has also partnered with an established management team with a track record of investing in ORRIs.

“The energy sector is in a multi-year transition and the industry remains under stress,” said Adam Flikerski, co-founder of BlackGold. “We believe there is strong demand for us to fill a gap left by banks and provide capital to middle market energy companies, as evidenced by our robust pipeline of funding opportunities.”

Erik Dybesland, co-founder of BlackGold added, “Given the demand for capital in the energy industry and traditional sources curtailed, we believe that our platform provides the skills necessary to source opportunities, provide creative solutions for companies, and deliver solid outcomes for our institutional partners.”

BlackGold Capital Management, founded in 2006, has invested over $7.5 billion in both public and private energy companies, across upstream, midstream, and oil field services.

About BlackGold
BlackGold Capital Management LP is a leading investment firm focused on opportunistic catalyst-driven investments in the energy industry. The firm’s team has decades of experience and expertise in energy with extensive long-standing industry relationships. Founded in 2006, BlackGold seeks to generate compelling returns for its investors by employing a deep fundamental research-driven approach in analyzing energy assets and capital structures. The firm manages approximately $1 billion in capital across its investment platform which includes public and private commingled strategies as well as managed accounts. KKR & Co. LP, a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes, holds a 24.9% passive minority interest in BlackGold Capital Management LP. For more information, please visit

Rover Pipeline Tax Revenue Having Positive Impact in Ohio

From the Sentinel-Tribune:
The Rover Pipeline paid more than $4 million to Wood County in annual property taxes for 2018, with more than $69 million paid across the state, according to a press release issued by the company. 
Across the full four-state project, the pipeline paid nearly $73 million in annual property taxes, and is expected to pay more than $180 million across the entire route in property taxes for 2019. This takes into account the full operations of the pipeline going service in the last quarter of 2018.

The property taxes generated by the pipeline are paid to the local taxing authorities, which are then responsible for distributing the money based on the individual taxing guidelines set forth by each taxing jurisdiction, or county.
That article also notes:
Additionally, Rover has donated more than $375,000 to a variety of local non-profits and emergency management associations along the route, which includes the Ann Arbor YMCA, the Mountaineer Food Bank and the Ohio 4H Youth.
Read the whole article by clicking here.

And from Richland Source:
The Shelby City Schools District is attempting one last Hail Mary to build a new Pre-K through eighth grade building in the district. 
After failing three times in 12 months to pass a bond issue in the district to fund a new facility, Shelby City Schools has one last option to build a new building without needing any additional taxpayer money. 
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) is still considering funding half of a new building in Shelby if the district can come up with their half - which could be possible thanks to the Rover Pipeline.
Click here to read the rest of this article.

ODNR Posts April 2019 Shale Activity Maps

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Permitting Grinds to a Halt in Utica Shale

New permits issued last week: 0 (Previous week: 5)  -5
Total horizontal permits issued: 3042 (Previous week: 3042 +-0
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2559 (Previous week: 2554)  +5
Total horizontal wells producing: 2167 (Previous week: 2167)  +-0
Utica rig count: 16 (Previous week: 15)  +1